Conservatives hold Bitterne Park council seat but Labour retain Southampton council majority

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Outside London the Conservatives benefitted from the collapse of the UKIP vote, with numerous anti-EU party's seats turning blue.

They also managed to hold Welwyn East, Cuffley and Northaw, Welwyn West, Brookmans Park and Little Heath, and Hatfield Villages.

A RESURGENT Labour made gains in Portsmouth, managing to topple one of the city's top Tories as the Conservative's grip on the area weakened.

"I think we have bucked the trend here tonight because there were the soothsayers who were saying we were going to be wiped out and we haven't been so bring it on for next year!"

Commenting on Tory fortunes, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox told Sky News: It's at the higher end of what we might have expected.

Sadiq Khan, London's Labour mayor, defended the results and said the party was "heading for our best result in the capital since 1971".

In Sheffield, where the council's ruling Labour group has suffered heavy criticism over its controversial tree-felling programme, Labour lost four seats, including two to the Liberal Democrats and two to the Greens, but gained a seat from the struggling Ukip.

An anxious wait during the count in Campus West.

Nevertheless Labour already dominate in London councils after massive positive factors in 2014 and it's unsure if the 22-point lead can be sufficient for them to grab their goal councils.

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And Labour failed in its bid to take control of top target Barnet, which was gained by Tories from no overall control.

"The Tories are in retreat and have held on by their fingernails".

The Conservative also gained Barnet, with Labour missing out on a key target council following its anti-Semitism row.

The Lib Dems celebrating a successful evening.

Speaking prior to the results, and defending his position on recent development proposals, Anstee said: "The Turn Moss proposals, I think, enhance a hugely valued but in many respects massively under-utilised green space in Trafford". "If they held their position the Tories would have lost their majority".

Meanwhile there was upheaval in Bitterne ward as council leader Simon Letts (Lab), pictured right, lost his seat to Conservative Terry Streets by 295 votes.

"Obviously we are disappointed but we are no stranger to such disappointments, and will certainly come back stronger next year because the message we got overwhelmingly from residents is that they want change".

It means the ward still has three Conservative councillors.

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